Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bi-coastal Meeting on Social Enterprise - Hype and Promise

Bi-coastal Meeting on Social Enterprise Hype and Promise
Society for International Development Seattle and Washington, DC Chapters
January 22, 12-30 2:30
Sightlife 4th Floor, 221 Yale Ave, Seattle, WA (across from REI)

Social Enterprises - businesses whose primary purpose is serving the common good - have grabbed the attention of the global development community because of their promise for helping people meet their most pressing development challenges at scale and in ways that are financially sustainable.  New business models bring financial services to underserved populations, deliver health services to the poor, develop technologies that connect people with higher learning and economic opportunities outside formal university degrees, and use supply chains to transform lives in communities where products and materials are sourced. Through these pathways, new private sector actors - impact investors, business incubators, entrepreneurs, foundations, and global corporates, among others - are emerging as voices for international development.  

Please join us January 22nd for SID Bi-Coastal Meeting when we will bring experts from Seattle and Washington, DC to help us review some of the experience to date and explore what we can learn for global development from successful social enterprises.  We’ll look at how social enterprises help communities and countries meet their development challenges and explore how much is hype and how much is promise.  We’ll explore to what extent social enterprises affect and possibly supplement donor investments in developing countries, and implications for skills that development professionals need to bring to the table.  We’ll explore the conditions that create a healthy ecosystem for social enterprises - from idea to scale.


Seattle - Seattle is known as a center of innovation excellence, and home to environmentally and socially conscious consumers and investors who pursue the triple bottom line.  Whether small companies that are tackling social issues, or global companies that are transforming their businesses to do good and well in their markets, Seattle is home to a growing number of successful social enterprises.   Who are they, what are the challenges they're tackling, and what has been their impact locally and globally?  What can we learn from their experience? 

Rashmir Balasubramaniam (Founder of Nsansa Consulting)

Rashmir has over 20 years of experience across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, and across a variety of industries. She spent five years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led an initiative on private sector engagement and market-based solutions across the Global Health & Global Development programs. She drove strategy development and managed a diverse portfolio of grants for the foundations Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program. She has worked with a wide range of organizations at global and local levels, including: International Planned Parenthood Foundation, PATH, Technoserve, and the World Bank. She has also worked in investment banking and finance in London with Ernst & Young, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Rashmir is an Adjunct Faculty member of the Foster School of Business, University of Washington and Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She teaches and mentors in a variety of other schools and programs, including Middlebury College, the Indian Institute of Sustainable Enterprise, and Fledge, a conscious company incubator. She co-developed and ran #SocEnt Weekend with the founders of Fledge and Hub Seattle. She is a Director of Sightline Institute, a sustainability thinktank, and Humanosphere, a global health newsblog.

Brian Howe (Founder of Seattle HUB):

Brian Howe helps people launch ventures worthy of their humanity. He is the founder of Hub Seattle, a shared workspace and community for inspiring entrepreneurs, changemakers and raconteurs. Brian helped found and advises (a conscious company incubator), Arts Aftercare and SVP Fast Pitch (“Shark Tank” for social innovators). He previously founded Vox Legal PLLC, a law firm specializing in advising unique business structures, including one of the largest nonprofit venture capital funds to invest in Indian start-ups, a hybrid model for interplanetary commerce on behalf of NASA and many others. He likes rooftops, building things and wrestling with his nephews.

Washington DC –
Kate McElligott, Sr. Manager, Thought Leadership and Strategic Partnerships, Grameen Foundation

Kate McElligott is an experienced international strategy executive focused on business development and marketing at Grameen Foundation. She is responsible for managing key global corporate relationships and developing a comprehensive thought leadership strategy.  Prior to joining the Grameen Foundation she was Director of Development for the Microcredit Summit Campaign, where she secured financial support and sponsorship for global summits in Bali, Indonesia and Cartagena, Colombia.  She holds a Masters in Social Enterprise from the American University School of International Service with a focus on innovation in emerging markets. Kate currently serves on the board of Prosperity Catalyst, a social enterprise start-up with operations in Haiti and Iraq. Kate is an avid runner and yoga enthusiast.

Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO of Calvert Foundation

Jennifer brings nearly 20 years of finance and community development work to her role as the President and CEO of Calvert Foundation. Since arriving at Calvert Foundation in 2009, Jennifer has risen from the position of U.S. Portfolio Manager to Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, then Chief Strategy Officer and now President and CEO. In her role as Chief Strategy Officer, she led the organization’s Strategic Initiatives team on raising capital, developing new products and initiatives and marketing and communications. Jennifer has also overseen Calvert Foundation’s wholly owned Community Investment Partners subsidiary, which offers fund and asset management services for institutional clients.  Jennifer’s teams anchor their work around the development of initiatives that combine a social issue with the power of impact investing, such as the Women Investing in Women Initiative. WIN-WIN, the only retail impact investing product available to U.S. residents that is focused on supporting organizations empowering women, was launched by the Strategic Initiatives team under Jennifer’s leadership. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Union College and a MBA from Columbia University. She serves on the Boards of Hitachi Foundation and Groundswell.

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